tv BBC Newsnight PBS February 4, 2012 5:00am-5:30am EST
>> this is "bbc newsnight." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard -- use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range
of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc newsnight." >> a year of violence in syria plunged the country into civil war. ♪ >> calls for president assad to step down began on the streets of syria and reached the u.n. this week. fears among syria's few international allies that if the regime falls, there will be civil war. could they be right? >> thousands of families have had to flee their homes. we have all had to move because of these armed gangs. >> cyber need to rethink conflicts as battles old and new play out in a new domain. >> the united nations needs to
start thinking about how they would deploy peacekeepers in cyberspace. >> and a portrait of a late great british artist by his daughter, a novelist. >> i could see he was obviously different from other people's fathers, but i always felt lucky. ♪ >> hello. it has been a year since the first uprisings in syria, and despite the continuing violence which has left an estimated 5500 dead, president assad remains in power. international calls for him to step down was the subject of negotiation that united nations this week. the subtext to any defense of the assad regime is if it falls, that would trigger civil war. increasingly, that looks exactly what is happening anyway. syria has some of the largest religious minorities in the arab world, including orthodox christians. some claim that if musab falls, their future would be perilous. but the opposition denies all
accusations of sectarianism. here is the report. >> it in the language jesus spoke in the country where st. paul saw the light, syrian christians celebrate their faith. as they have for nearly two millennia. but there is a sudden sense of danger. among the worst tippers, refugees from neighboring iraq. much of its christian minority has fled from islamist violence and intolerance. now, beyond the walls of this monastery, a haven of calm on the road to damascus. syria has always had it averse society where religious
minorities have felt comparatively said. now, many of those religious minorities are worried about what will happen to them if the regime falls. in these uncertain times, in the country where christians make up nearly 10% of the population, the archbishop of damascus knows better than to back a government whose days may be numbered. but nor will he backed a resolution morally encouraged by the west is consequences could be perilous. >> the western countries are pushing on revolution. i am hearing that some parties are helping, and this is not helping the stability. it is not solving any problems. >> in towns gripped by revolution, the islamic affirmation of faith, god is
most great, is a constant refrain. protesters say this is a traditional rallying call in the country which is at least three- quarters sunni muslim, the expression of willingness to die for a cause. or is it? a sign of syria's secular system could be destroyed by religious sectarianism. even the government supporters chanting for syrians to remain united. they are mainly alec, members of a shiite sect. including more than one in and syrians, downtrodden for centuries. alawites have been more favored since the assad family came into power 40 years ago. those families probably have at least one member employed by the security forces. in this district, the increasingly separated city of homs, they bitterly oppose the
revolution that is raging just a few blocks away. >> ours is one of thousands of families who have had to flee our homes, she said. i used to live in a different area, but now we have all had to move because of these armed gangs. >> government supporters often cite this anti-alawite threat from a popular rubble cleared to try to prove sectarianism. we will not hurt those alawites who were neutral, he sets, but then adds, the line is certainly not typical of the opposition. those who fight against us, i swear by god almighty, that we will turn them into mincemeat and feed them to the dogs. fears of the rushing collapsing,
inevitably high in districts like this, a hillside of damascus where alawites from other provinces were encouraged to settle by president assad's father. perhaps to control the less reliable soon is living below. many, although not all, of the regime's most trusted servants are alawites. among them, this owner of an advertising agency, charged for designing a new logo and image for the ruling baath party. it is a commission some might think comes a little late, but he believes the top-down political reform is still possible, and it is the best way to perk -- to avoid dysentery isn't that the regime says is being stirred up by armed gangs -- to avoid the sectarianism. >> i am afraid of instability of the armed gangs that caused destruction, of the invasion of negative ideas into society.
but i am not afraid of sectarian attacks. i am gambling on the common sense of the syrian people. because they have a completely different outlook. all of the sects here value human life. they rejected the violence seen in other places. our main enemy is fear itself. this is the foundation of our society. reforms of government being proposed will help us build a new democracy. >> but some say it is the president who is spreading the fear. i am going to meet one of the alawites for active in the opposition. despite what they say our government scare tactics. >> in areas like were i am from, people live in terror now because of the propaganda about hidden explosive and armed gangs. people believe those stories, that people are being killed because they are alawites.
it is all lies. the regime knows how to play this game. many joined the army or the police a long time ago. but when the president's father came to power, he convinced the alawites that the regime was protecting them. now, even people who do not like the government, are afraid of the revolution, because they are afraid of the muslim brotherhood, that they will force men to go to the mosques, force women to wear covers, and not let children go to school. >> this young christian opposition activist also rejects the regime's propaganda. she says the revolution is not abiding people. it is uniting them. >> we just say we're from the spirit, and they know. you can see how present -- how surprised they are and how happy they are. that you're part of this revolution. we go in some houses, and we
will be the first christians to enter this house. and they really welcome us in an amazing way. and it gives them the choice. >> so when the government says these are terrorists who are trying to stop stability of syria, what do you think? >> it is a huge line. -- a huge lie. this government makes the decision. when you go out, you feel you are free. in this moment, even at that moment, you feel you're free. nobody will go back home. >> after decades of stability in syria, wedged between war-torn lebanon and war-torn iraq, who would not be a little afraid of
the future now? but the more the regime plays on those fears and the longer the violence goes on, the greater the risk that those warnings of civil war will eventually become self fulfilling prophecy. >> albert einstein said he did not know which weapons would fight the third world war, a bit -- but the fourth would be fought with sticks and stones. cybersecurity experts think they do know that wars will be fought in cyberspace, with armies of hackers on each side. we have already seen traditional conflicts in the middle east spread to the online domain, and iran pose a nuclear program was set back by the highly sophisticated attack discovered in 2010. so is the age of cyber warfare already upon us? our science editor reports. ♪ >> there is a silent battle under way, a virtual conflict with powerful forces on either
side. from online activists to organized crime to nation states. cyberspace is the new front line. all around the world, cyber attacks are hitting the headlines. authorities in australia have warned of a flood of attacks against the web sites of financial firms. >> this is strategic. top management has to be aware of the damage that can be done. >> on new year's day, a cyber highs-doll pound hit banks in africa. >> not many businesses or government sectors are doing the threat analysis to the level needed. >> and attacks claimed by an anonymous and other cyber activist groups that the u.s. government and corporate web sites in protests against policing the internet. despite the best effort of big business, international intelligence, and the law, the
cyber threat seems always to be one step ahead. this is where it all began. just north of london, home to britain's famous wartime code breaking success. and this is the world's first modern computer. it was rebuilt here and was central to that wartime effort. this is cyber warfare at its inception. the whole project was kept secret for decades, remote from the outside world. these days, our lives depend on it digital communication. connecting as to the outside world but leaving us a vulnerable, too. >> fletchley park is at the very center of this whole issue.
in the second world war, this was a state-for-state battle, to put it mildly. now, of course, everybody is effected by it. >> now chair of the trust and former head of mi-6 has seen cyber conflict develop. >> you have to worry about crime, worry about terrorism, and you have to worry about state activity, of course. you have to worry about what is called hacktivists. people with missions. but i repeat, the state issue and the threat, if you like, which comes from the most capable states in this area remains a huge issue. >> as cyberattacks and, one discovered in 2010 was most -- the most spectacular, widely speculated that the u.s. and
israel were behind the attack which targeted iran's nuclear program through its is the man's control system. this is a cyber security analyst who has been going through this, and he worries that that technology is now out in the open. >> the problem with this, whoever the actors were, they opened pandora's box. because what they did was bailout the world and the community, the hacking community and others, to look into a world of developing cyber weapons. so when they compromised the siemen architecture, deployed in the united kingdom, u.s., and china, a it is there in critical infrastructure. if someone could reverse engineer, which they already have done that to some of it, they could take that and re weaponize it. >> and old battles are being fought in this new territory in
arab-israeli tensions are playing out in cyberspace. there has been a monthlong offensive between pro- palestinian and pro-is really hackers. in a series of escalating tit for tat attacks, israeli hackers publish the credit card details of hundreds of saudis, targeted the saudi government stock exchange, and released details of the facebook accounts of 20,000 arab users. for their part, saudi teams launched attacks on the tel aviv stock exchange and israel 's national airline. israel's deputy foreign minister compared this to acts of terrorism. when we spoke to the former head of israeli internet security, he resisted that parallel. >> these attacks are nothing new. they're not interesting technically, not interesting logistically. strategically, they are boring. what makes them so important is the way we responded to them.
meaning the people and the politicians. we gave them a much more strength of character, if you like, than they actually had. >> you have not established safety. very long standing in the middle east. of course, that can take various forms. it may come in extremists, be open warfare. it can also, particularly nowadays, take other forms if the tension is there. if the ill-will is there. any weapon inside is going to be used. >> recent attacks, such as the israeli-saudi hacks, have affected civilian targets. banks, airlines, credit-card companies. but so far, the military seems to be taking the lead on cyberdefense. this london conference brings
together military experts in cybersecurity. but both the chinese and russian delegations are not here. in the u.s., the tone over the cyber domain is shifting. the u.s. military is recruiting 10,000 elite cyber warriors to secure cyberspace. but should nations be thinking about a different kind of presence in the virtual world? >> we have seen cyber incidents between russia and georgia, and that is still ongoing. we have seen incidents between pakistan and india, and that is ongoing. the united nations needs to figure out how they can deploy peacekeepers in the digital borders of a nation. >> the problem with cyberspace is that traditional borders no longer exist. the commercial world can protect
its interest with systems from companies like this. the challenge for the world of business is keeping pace with cyberattacks. the sheer volume of those attacks, the fast-changing nature, and where they're coming from. >> we received a spam message just outside oxford. the message was actually sent from an infected, compromised machine just outside warsaw in poland. when you click on the web site, it ticket to a location just outside new york. -- it took you to a location discuss and york. then it redirected you to another location just a said beijing and china. it uses the vulnerability of your browser to install a banking program hosted in russia. then when you enter your bank account details next time, it collected those in details and send it to the bad guy in
brazil. >> some say we need to make it easier for companies hit by cyberattacks to own up and talk about what went wrong so others can learn. at the moment, there is a tendency to close up. >> you cannot go back into your cocoon and say we're not going to deal with the outside world because it brings to many threats. simply impossible. our future prosperity depends on as being an open economy. at the same time, we have to be super in formed and have the highest possible level of expertise. >> how the world companies, citizens, and the government's response, not only to the opportunities that are interconnected age but its potential for new forms of conflict, will shape all our futures. ♪ >> the painter who died last
year was famous for the unsparing days he'd trained on the subjects of his portraits but one critic wrote about the candor of the nudes the painted. but freud remained an enigma. a major risk -- retrospective of his work is about to open in london. for insight on one of britain's greta's printers, stephen smith has been speaking to one of the painters daughters, a novelist. ♪ >> i am sure lots of models used to long for the look of their painting to be easier on the eyes and it ended up being. but i think the more people knew his work, you started to really appreciate how rigorous he was when he looked at anything. he looked at it with a hawk-like
stare. it was not just what he wanted to see. he tried to see what he really saw. the idea that people should not look like that at each other since completely crazy. obviously, if you are courageous, you do look. it does not mean you look with aggression. you just looked with open eyes. i think that for any art form, you have to do that. the more penetratingly you look at some to come at the more you will find that. >> did you feel self-conscious about posing or being a model for your father? i mean, in one of them, you're not wearing anything. >> i never felt self-conscious about sitting, whether i was closed-door naked. i grew up in an environment where people, you know, i was just used to cart being created out of family and friends. you feel you are contributing to something really wonderful. and the rest of the world sees a
little cocoon of an ancient world that you get into where the phone did not bring. he managed to keep life that day in order to get on with his work. very, very un strict about that. ♪ >> he was an extraordinary, honest person. so you knew where you were with him. he did not pretend to be capable of things he was not capable of. although he was a very unusual person and an unusual father to have, he did not say, i will take you to the zoo and then not turn up. he never said he would take you to the zoo. it was that of the question. you really knew where you were. something comforting about that. >> could it be scary to be with your father? was it an edge of the seat experience sometimes?
>> yes, he created a sense of danger around a bit of once read your it -- but decided to try to scotland as children. he wanted to see some people we were friends with. we drove in this wonderful old car, a very far away. after quite a long time, we realize that we were being followed by the police. we pulled over, and the policeman said, do you know how fast we have been going? he said, no. they said, you have been going 100 for half an hour. >he said, sorry, we were going to scotland. they said, you're actually in wales. but it was always more fun than exciting. he once told me a b one that puts itet on three times in a row and -- when it put a bet on it three times in a row, and i won twice. he said, you're not a gambler.
he liked losing. it stimulated him. in men he had no money and he had to do more work. once he was earning a lot of money for his paintings, he would take two months' time to gamble away. then he would not have time to work. it was counterproductive. >> he seems to have been extremely single-minded. did he have a sort of inner voice telling him this is the thing to do or was he susceptible to critics? >> he knew how he wanted it to be. when i first used to sit with him, he was more frustrated. he used to stab himself with a paintbrush sometimes. >> stabbed himself? >> it not drawing blood, but you know. there was a feeling of tension and frustration, which , eased off over the years. he became more patient. he was less frustrated as he got
older. ♪ >> he loved to read the papers. he bought every paper every day. he liked looking through. he was interested. he had a twinkle in his eye about everything. he was interested in anything and everything. he loved to hear news stories about people he did not even know. he had a hezest for life -- he had a great zest for life, but he did not want to actually engage with any of it. i really accepted him exactly how he was. he was a very interesting and exciting father to have. i could see he is obviously different from other people's fathers, but i always felt lucky. >> esther freud talking to stephen smith. that is all for this week. from all of us here, goodbye.
♪ ♪ >> makes sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. ♪ >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range